Optimize your candidate emails in 5 easy steps

Last updated:
July 21, 2021
December 22, 2021
min read
Recruitee Team
Table of contents

To recruit prospective employees, recruiters and hiring managers have several tools available to them. One of these underrated tools happens to be email.

The first mistake hiring managers make is to buy into the rumor that email is dying. Yes, email is aging compared to other social media channels. Many businesses choose to market via Facebook or Instagram. While social media is crucial in marketing and recruitment, it is not necessarily the only avenue. It is not the only avenue that you should focus on.

Email is still alive. Most people still use their email regularly and check their emails frequently. The problem with email is that most people receive countless messages on any given day. People often ignore what they consider less important in a crowded inbox.

Marketers understand the importance of email. It is still one of the best marketing platforms available. When it comes to recruitment, you have to be good at creating solid email campaigns.

Many recruiters don’t know how to optimize their recruitment emails to catch the attention of potential candidates. Email as a tool may be older than social media, but it can be even more advantageous. You simply have to apply new marketing methods to an older vehicle. Take a look at some email templates here.

Here are five ways that you can optimize your recruitment emails.

Personalize your emails

Prospective hires receive a large number of emails per day. As an additional obstacle, many of these email candidates are not actively searching for new jobs.

How can your email stand out? How can you prevent your emails from ending in the deleted folder? Think about the emails that you receive daily. What emails catch your attention? Which ones are worth reading beyond the subject line?

Most people do not want to read the same automated content send to dozens of other people. They want to read personalized messages. If you send mail to a large number of candidates, remember that every set of eyes on the other side of the screen belongs to specific individuals. If you want hires to make a connection to your brand and your company, then you have to personalize the emails.

Recruitment emails need to show they know something about the candidate. Do a little research on candidates ahead of time, so that you can reference an achievement or experience in the email. You don’t want to seem like you are sending a template email to many people, regardless of experience.

Create interest in your subject line

Before your potential hire can get to the personalized email, he or she has to be able to get past the subject line. Often, the determining factor when it comes to prospective candidates opening emails is the said subject line.

Statistically, the subject determines 35% of all open emails.

Some may say that this means you need to be as creative as possible. You need to grab the person’s attention and compel him or her to open the email. While this might work in some cases, it is not necessarily the best route to take. Studies show that most people will open straightforward and simple subject lines. Attention-grabbing lines may appear more desperate for the candidate to open the email. The best subject lines tell the candidate what is within the email. Don’t make a sales pitch for your message. The subject line should not look like promotional material.

Use automated email triggers

Automated email triggers provide you with a way to deliver content to the right people at the right time. When the prospective employee acts, it triggers an email. This type of automated email can increase your success. This is because the person receives a personalized message based on the action.

For instance, say that you have a job posting online, and several email candidates begin the application but don’t finish it. This happens all of the time. The prospective hire may be distracted or forget about the application process entirely. If you were trying to recruit employees, then it would help to have an automated email that sends out a couple of days after a person begins the process but does not finish. This email would compel the person to complete it.

Optimize for mobile

Everyone uses a mobile device nowadays. If you use your phone for email, then you’ve probably opened up difficult-to-read messages yourself. The font may be too large, and there may be too many columns that create a clunky layout on mobile devices. Most people use their phones to check email. Over half of all recruitment emails that a person opens are through the email app on their phone. If the prospective candidate can’t read your email, he or she may back out of it and probably won’t bother to read it on the computer later.

As a recruiter, you need to embrace mobile technology. In reality, the use of phones makes it so much easier to reach potential hires. Wherever the person is, he or she can read your email. There is less of a chance for the said email to become buried. To optimize your emails for mobile, consider the following suggestions:

  • Keep the copy short and to the point
  • Enlarge the text for easy reading on a mobile device
  • Create large call-to-actions that are easy to touch
  • Use a single-column layout

If you are not familiar with how to optimize your emails for mobile devices, you should work with someone who can create templates for mobile emails.

Test and experiment

If you want to form the best possible recruitment strategy, you need to pay attention to your metrics. You have to be able to measure your tactics so that you can analyze them and determine your effectiveness. When it comes to recruitment emails, measure the data associated with the journey. For instance, track how many emails went through, how many were opened, how many led to clicks or leads back to your website.

Also, you should always be testing your email strategy. Measure your strategy against the data. You can use a variety of testing strategies to find out what works best for your company.

For instance, you may want to experiment with the times and days when you send emails, with the fonts you use, the phrasing of the emails, and more.

The purpose is to try out different factors and figure out which combination works the best. For instance, maybe shorter emails work better with your target audience. Maybe some particular fonts and styles align with your brand. Find out what works best for your company and expand on your strengths.


Email is not a tool of the past. While many companies use social media in marketing and recruitment, you can’t rely solely on social media.

If you are actively seeking candidates for your company, you don’t want to downplay the importance of emails. When done correctly, you can find leads. Most businesses see a rise in applicants when the email campaigns are successful.

If you can follow the above tips, your recruitment emails will likely stand out to prospective employees. Email candidates are more likely to open up, read, and engage with your company, as opposed to impersonal, automated recruitment emails.

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